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First Financial on Buying Spree: To Acquire 4Trust Mortgage - Analyst Blog

Zacks Equity Research

First Financial Bankshares Inc. FFIN seems to be on an acquisition spree. Within 8 days, the company has announced its second deal, an asset purchase agreement with 4Trust Mortgage, Inc. for $1.9 million in cash. The deal is expected to be completed by May 2015 end.

4Trust Mortgage is a 15 year-old residential mortgage origination firm serving customers in Dallas/Ft. Worth region. The firm has three offices located in Fort Worth, Dallas and North Richland Hills, TX. In 2014, the company originated roughly $175 million in residential loans that were subsequently sold in the secondary market.

F. Scott Dueser, Chairman, President and CEO of First Financial, believes the deal would drive market share gain for First Financial as 4Trust Mortgage is one of the top mortgage companies in Fort Worth. Further, the owners – Troy A. Fore, Jr., Tammie Harding, Kami Graves and Ryan Craig – and the entire team of 4Trust Mortgage will be joining First Financial.

Upon completion, Troy Fore, President and CEO of 4Trust Mortgage, will become President of First Financial Mortgage (the mortgage unit of First Financial Bank). Hence, Tory will be serving as the head of First Financial’s entire mortgage lending division.

As mentioned earlier, First Financial is on expansion mode. On Apr 1, the company had announced a deal to acquire FBC Bancshares, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, First Bank, N.A., at Conroe, TX, in an all-stock deal worth nearly $59 million. This agreement is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.

We believe that with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position, First Financial will likely continue with similar opportunistic acquisitions in the future. As of Dec 31, 2014, cash and due from banks stood at $190.4 million.

Currently, First Financial carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other banks with a similar Zacks Rank are SVB Financial Group SIVB, City National Corporation CYN and Bank of Hawaii Corporation BOH.


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